Online security top concern in Asia Pacific: Internet Society survey

NEW DELHI: Online security is an area that warrants most urgent attention from policymakers, according to a recent Internet Society (IS) survey on Policy Issues in Asia Pacific.

“As trust online has become a key issue for Internet users throughout Asia Pacific, it’s clear that people feel that current policies are not doing enough to protect their privacy and security online,” IS said in a statement from Singapore.

The survey polled almost 2,000 end-users from across the region on their attitudes towards current Internet policy issues. Access is still the primary concern for stakeholders, but Internet security has become top of mind, replacing cloud computing as the second-most followed topic by respondents, as tracked by the annual study.

Moreover, 58 per cent of respondents in the 2016 survey thought cybercrime needed to be addressed by governments, followed by connectivity (47 per cent), data protection (45 per cent) and privacy (44 per cent).

As connectivity has improved over the past year --70 per cent stated that they had experienced better Internet speed and 55 per cent saw a drop in the cost of their Internet subscription -- users are turning their focus to online trust.

“The results of this year’s survey show that stakeholders in the region hold connectivity and security as paramount and feel these need urgent attention from governments,” Internet Society’s Regional Bureau Director for Asia-Pacific Rajnesh Singh was quoted in the official statement as saying.

“As trust online has become a key issue for Internet users throughout Asia Pacific, it’s clear that people feel that current policies are not doing enough to protect their privacy and security online,” adds Singh.

The elements of trust online are multi-faceted and are reflected in the survey’s findings. A large proportion of respondents cited data protection (77 per cent) as crucial for building confidence in the Internet. More than half also felt that consumer protection (54 per cent), transparency (51 per cent) and the ability to communicate confidentially (51 per cent) were more important than content, service, technology and applications (45 per cent).

While many believed that policies regarding online security in their country were largely compatible with their human and civil rights, this view did not extend to privacy online. The survey reveals that 59 per cent of participants did not believe their privacy was protected online.

Internet users were also doubtful about the impact of online security policies on their online activities. Over half indicated these policies have not increased their confidence in being able to use the Internet securely and only 34 per cent agreed that the current online security policies appropriately address the real threats and risks encountered online.

The Internet Society is an independent source for global Internet information and thought leadership. It is also the organizational home for the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and has members and chapters around the world. For the 2016 survey, maximum respondents were from South Asia (67 per cent), followed by South-East Asia (17 per cent), East Asia and Australia, New Zealand & the Pacific Islands.

To a lesser degree, Internet users were also following developments around cloud computing (46 per cent), e-commerce (44 per cent), big data (44 per cent), consumer protection (43 per cent), the Internet of Things (43 per cent), freedom of expression (40 per cent), online child protection (38 per cent), content filtering (37 per cent), censorship (36 per cent), and net neutrality (34 per cent).

Internet access was of greater importance to specific sectors and sub-regions, particularly rural dwellers (69 per cent) and those living in the Pacific islands, Australia and New Zealand (77 per cent).

Respondents also opine that governments should have more people’s involvement in policy-making related to Internet. About 77 per cent of respondents say that they have not had an opportunity to participate in public consultations for government policy-making for the Internet in the past year. This figure was higher for those between 15 to 24 years old (85 per cent) and those in the private sector (84 per cent).

Conversely, the proportion of those who have had the opportunity to participate was higher for those who identified with civil society (34 per cent) and those who live in Southeast Asia (33 per cent). The minority (23 per cent) who have had a chance to contribute to policymaking learned of these opportunities mainly through email (63 per cent). Other means included personal invitations (46 per cent), social media posts (40 per cent), government websites (26 per cent), media or press coverage (24 per cent), word of mouth (19 per cent), government press releases and advertisements (15 per cent).

According to the IS survey, respondents accessed the Internet through various means: more than a quarter went online mainly through wireless or cellular (41 per cent) or through DSL (26 per cent) networks. The rest were using optical fibre (19 per cent), cable (12 per cent) or dial-up (2 per cent).

Those who spend more than one-third of their income on Internet connectivity used cellular (28 per cent) more than any other means. By contrast only 6 per cent of senior citizen respondents used cellular connectivity. Women mainly used wireless Internet (43 per cent).

Some 73 per cent of respondents also use the Internet for business purposes, the bulk (68 per cent) of which are between 25 to 44 years old. Business use was drastically lower among those who spend more than one-third of their income on Internet connectivity (51 per cent) and among rural dwellers (54 per cent).

Those who spend more than one third of their income on Internet connectivity had mobile data as the primary mode of access available to them daily (74 per cent) with residential connection (67 per cent) and office Internet (49 per cent) trailing behind. A similar pattern is observed among rural residents. Perhaps, not surprisingly, mobile data is also the leading source of everyday access for respondents between 15 to 24 years old (78 per cent). There was a lower overall availability of private establishments with free Wi-Fi in rural areas. Southeast Asia, on the other hand, had a higher than average concentration of free Wi-Fi in cafes (67 per cent), restaurants (57 per cent), and shopping malls (54 per cent).

Latest Reads

Culture Machine launches digital channel Om Bhajan Bhakti

Culture Machine has launched its new digital brand on devotion and spirituality, titled "Om Bhajan Bhakti". The channel explores the spiritual and devotional space by providing unique experiences and learning to viewers.

iWorld Video On Demand
Welcome offer lands Reliance Jio in 4G speed soup

Even as Reliance Retail today launched 4G F1, the first device under the LYF brand outside the four elements branding, Reliance Jio seems to have received a setback with TRAI declaring its speed to be the poorest among five telecom operators. LYF F1 has been launched with advanced 4G for Reliance...

iWorld Telecom
Vodafone India announces roaming free from Diwali

Vodafone India, one of India’s leading telecom service providers, has announced free incoming calls while roaming nationally for all its customers. Starting this Diwali, all Vodafone India customers, travelling anywhere in the country, can continue to talk worry free without having to cut short...

iWorld Telecom
Facebook updates architecture for India's next billion coming online

GURGAON:  "We (Facebook) are now launching a new architecture so you can see less grey boxes, and more relevant stories quickly, regardless of your network connection. This new architecture of News Feed allows stories to be ranked on the client after being sent from the server. We avoid spinners...

iWorld Social Media
Q2-17: Reliance: Jio busts records, organised retail grows 63 percent

The Mukesh D Ambani led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) organized retail segment - Reliance Retail, continued its growth momentum and profitability in the quarter ended 30 September 2016 (Q2-17, current quarter), while its digital services offering Jio has broken all records in terms of...

iWorld Telecom
Social media 'Ae Dil Lets Airbnb' contest starts

A social media contest has been launched to celebrate the upcoming smash release of ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil,‘ a Bollywood feature starring Fawad Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.

iWorld Social Media
Amazon Prime announces exclusive partnership with Vishesh Films

Prime Video, which is coming as an added benefit for Amazon Prime members in India, will be the exclusive subscription video streaming home for upcoming new releases from Vishesh Films. The releases will stream on Prime Video before their television premiere.

iWorld Video On Demand
Facebook's India-focused news feed feature launched

Social media giant Facebook a short while ago announced a new feature for providing India-focused news feeds. This decision was announced at Facebook's yet-to-be-officially-launched office here (in Gurgaon).

iWorld Social Media
OTT players spend exceeds traditional broadcasters; Netflix weighing Indian content to drive growth

MUMBAI: Online platforms such as Amazon and the streaming giant Netflix have ramped up their investment in programming, investing US$ 7.5 billion last year which is more than HBO, Turner and CBS in most countries including Australia and South Korea.

iWorld Over The Top Services

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories